At long last, we have officially reached 2019 draft week. The Rams will be on the clock on Thursday for the penultimate selection of the first round, and analysts are making their final predictions for who L.A. may choose at No. 31.
While analysts had a variety of players and positions for this roundup, there was one school that put a number of players — at multiple spots — on this particular list.
Without further ado, here’s the eighth edition of the 2019 Rams mock draft roundup.
Take a look at the Los Angels Rams opponents for 2019!
Let’s start with what seems like a particularly realistic scenario from Peter King of NBC Sports, who projected the Rams to trade out of No. 31 with Denver in exchange for No. 41 in 2019 and a 2020 second-round pick. King has the Broncos then taking quarterback Drew Lock with the 31st overall pick.
“I do not think the Rams want to pick at 31, and feel they can use a trade-down to get a two or three back after dealing fourth and second-round picks to Kansas City in 2018 for cornerback Marcus Peters,” King writes. “A move like this wouldn’t surprise me, but I also think the way Denver GM John Elway’s talking, he could punt on a young quarterback until the richer QB draft of 2020.”
As the Rams stand right now, they have No. 31 overall but then do not have another selection until the end of the third round at No. 94 and No. 99. Los Angeles used its second round pick in the 2019 draft to acquire cornerback Marcus Peters from Kansas City.
Over at SB Nation, Dan Kadar has Los Angeles picking up Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons at No. 31. Simmons tore his ACL while preparing for the draft, but many analysts still have him going in the first round because of his considerable talent.
“This risk is a gamble for the Rams. It would be throwing away a first-round player for 2019, but give them a potential top-10 player for 2020 and beyond,” Kadar writes.
Simmons was quite productive at Mississippi State, where he recorded 33.0 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks in three seasons on the program’s defensive line. He also forced five fumbles, recorded seven passes defensed, and a pair of fumble recoveries.
The L.A. Times held its annual beat writers mock draft, featuring reporters from around the country. Local beat man Gary Klein selected Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones for the Rams at No. 31.
“This deep in the draft, and without a second-round pick, the Rams want to trade back and repeat the success they have had the last few years without a first-round selection. But Jones could help fill a void left by the departure of Ndamukong Suh,” Klein writes.
A Cleveland native, Jones was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree after a 2018 season that saw him garner 8.5 sacks and 13.0 tackles for loss. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 281 pounds, Jones ran a 5.12 40-yard dash and recorded a 31.5-inch vertical at the Combine.
NFL.com's lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has the Rams going with Mississippi State center Elgton Jenkins at No. 31 in his latest mock.
“Jenkins is another player who's made his way into the first-round conversation. Teams love his strength and power inside. He can play any of the three interior positions,” Jeremiah writes.
Jenkins received the Kent Hull Trophy in 2018 as the top offensive lineman in Mississippi. He started 34 games for Mississippi State, 26 at center, five at left tackle, two at left guard, and one at right tackle, displaying plenty of versatility. Jenkins was the program’s starting center for the past two seasons. He checked in at the Combine at 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, and put up 29 bench press reps at the event.
At Pro Football Focus, Michael Renner has the Rams picking up North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury with their first-round pick. And while Bradbury has been a popular pick for analysts over the last couple months, Renner’s rationale is simple but effective for why L.A. would go with Bradbury at No. 31.
“No one ran more outside zone runs in college football last year than NC State. No one ran more outside zone run in the NFL last year than the Rams,” Renner writes.
Bradbury was the 2018 Rimington Trophy winner as the best center in college football. He was initially a tight end at NC State before switching to the offensive line in 2015 after a redshirt season in 2014. A three-year starter, Bradbury checked into the Combine at 6-foot-3 and 306 pounds. He put up 34 reps on the bench press.
We’ll stick with the offensive line, as Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated/The MMQB has L.A. selecting Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom in the first round.
“The Rams address losing left guard Rodger Saffold and center John Sullivan by drafting Lindstrom, a four-year starter at BC who was athletic enough to begin his college career at tackle,” Vrentas writes.
A four-year starter, Lindstrom is from a football family — his father played at Boston College and is in the program’s Hall of Fame. Lindstrom was a first-team All-ACC honoree after his senior season. He played most of his career at right guard at BC, but also played some at right tackle in his junior year. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds, Lindstrom put up 25 reps on the bench press at the Combine.
At the Washington Post, longtime NFL reporter John Clayton mocked Mississippi State safety Jonnathan Abram to the Rams at No. 31.
“After losing Lamarcus Joyner in free agency, the Rams could use another safety to pair with veteran pickup Eric Weddle. Delaware’s Nasir Adderley could also be under consideration here,” Clayton writes.
Abram started his collegiate career at Georgia but transferred to Mississippi State, where he excelled in the secondary from 2017-2018. In 25 games at Mississippi State, Abram recorded 96 total tackles — 14.0 for loss — with 5.0 sacks, two interceptions, 10 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. The AP named Abram first-first-team All-SEC for his 2018 performance.
For the first of a few multi-round mocks, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay put together a “head-to-head” three-round mock, with the analysts alternating picks.
McShay had Los Angeles’ first-round selection and also chose NC State center Garrett Bradbury.
“I can't believe Kiper left the offensive lineman who I think is the most NFL-ready for me all the way at the back of the first round. With no more John Sullivan or Rodger Saffold, this makes all the sense in the world,” McShay writes (ESPN+ subscription required — $$).
At No. 94, Kiper chose Georgia outside linebacker D’Andre Walker, writing, “Walker has stellar traits. Why didn't he produce for the Bulldogs? There's a wide range on where he'll go, but a team that runs a 3-4 defense -- hello, Wade Phillips -- could take him in Round 3.”
Then at No. 99, McShay chose Iowa State running back David Montgomery, writing, “The Rams need someone to spell Todd Gurley II, both on third down and if Gurley's knee isn't 100 percent. I like Montgomery's ability to turn dump-offs into big gains in the passing game.”
In his seven-round mock, NFL.com's Chad Reuter has an inter-divisional trade that would have the Rams move up to No. 21 to select Louisiana Tech edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson.
““PROJECTED TRADE WITH SEAHAWKS. Re-signing Dante Fowler to a one-year deal does not close the loop on the Rams' need for pass rushers. Ferguson's ability to reach the quarterback will be coveted in the second half of the first round,” Reuter writes.
This trade doesn’t necessarily seem realistic, as the Rams and Seahawks haven’t made a deal since at least the two teams joined the same division at the 2002 realignment. Nevertheless, in this particular scenario, the Rams give up No. 31, No. 94, and No. 169 to draft Ferguson.
Ferguson was highly productive in his senior season at Louisiana Tech, recording 17.5 sacks and 26.0 tackles for loss in 2018 — becoming the 2018 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. In four collegiate seasons, Ferguson put up 67.5 tackles for loss, 45.0 sacks, and seven forced fumbles.
At No. 99, Reuter has Los Angeles picking up Georgia guard Lamont Gaillard and comments, “Second-year players Brian Allen and Joe Noteboom could win starting jobs in 2019, but Gaillard will provide excellent competition at guard and/or center.”
As for the rest of Reuter’s picks…
Round 4, No. 133: Jahlani Tavai, LB, Hawaii
Round 6, No. 203: Immanuel Turner, DT, Louisiana Tech
Round 7, No. 251: Bruce Anderson, RB, North Dakota State
Finally let’s go to CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson, who also put together a seven-round mock. His first pick at No. 31 is the aforementioned Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons.
“Simmons is a top-10 talent. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in February, which means he won't be healthy until midway through the season, best case. But when he returns, the Rams will have a dominant young player in the middle of their defense,” Wilson writes.
The rest of Wilson’s Rams picks are…
Round 3, No. 94: David Long Jr., LB, West Virginia
Round 3, No. 99: Christian Miller, LB, Alabama
Round 4, No. 133: Dennis Daley, OL, South Carolina
Round 5, No. 169: Beau Benzschawel, OL, Wisconsin
Round 6, No. 203: Sheldrick Redwine, DB, Miami (FL)
Round 7, No. 251: Malik Reed, LB, Nevada